“Beside the land of Chaldea is the land of Amazonia, that is the land of Feminye. And in that realm is all woman and no man; not as some may say, that men may not live there, but for because that the women will not suffer no men amongst them to be their sovereigns.”
(The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, Dover publications, Mineola, New York, 2006, cap. XVII, p. 103-104)
The post – modern world is standing on its head; it seems everything we once knew, in a matter of perhaps two generations has been overturned. From many perspectives our world has become a truly ugly place.
Amidst all of the scandal associated with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious’ arrogance and disobedience, the Evangelist, the official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany New York, run by a shameless feminist editor, Angela Cave, announced in the April 15, 2013 edition of the rag, the fact that the local Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet Provincial House was featuring a talk by Elizabeth Johnson, apostate heretic nun and author of “Quest for the Living God,” a scandalous tome that drew sharp criticism from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The fact that the official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany New York, presided over by hyperliberal bishop Howard Hubbard, (1) allowed the Evangelist to announce the heretic’s talk and even entitled the announcement, “Talk will shed light on the Holy Spirit,” was a confirmation of how the Albany Diocese has descended into the abyss, how out of control the nuns are who have commandeered the diocese and the diocesan offices, and how Howard Hubbard has lost every iota of control of what goes on in the Albany Diocese, and respectability in relation to his brother bishops. Any bishop who would allow the likes of Elizabeth Johnson to set foot in his diocese is questionable. But to actually allow her to disseminate her condemned ideas publicly in the diocese should send Hubbard to a remote Alaskan monastery to rediscover his spirituality!
In fact, the Evangelist makes it sound like Johnson is a recognized authority who has passed the imprimatur and nihil obstat scrutiny of the official Church:
A well-known Catholic theologian, educator and author will speak on the Holy Spirit this month as part of the final year of the Albany Diocese’s “Amazing God” evangelization initiative.
Sister Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, Ph.D.,a theology professor at Fordham University in Bronx, will give a lecture titled, “Filled with the Spirit,” April 11 at the Carondelet Hospitality Center in Latham. She intends to shed light on perhaps the most misunderstood part of the three persons of God.
Perhaps the Albany diocese would do well to remove the “Amazing” and replace it with “Feminist,” since it seems that under Hubbard’s tenure, the God of the Fathers has become the Sissy God of the Feminists! To be sure, Johnson shed a dark light on the Most Holy Trinity. Disgraced! Shameless diocese! [Editor’s Note: Perhaps the Albany diocese should place more emphasis on catechizing its faithful; it may have a more lasting effect than its attempts at evangelization! There is a difference between the two both in sequence and effects!]
C. 812 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law Requires a Theologian to Have Requested and to Have Been Granted the Mandatum to Teach Theology at a Catholic College or University. The Local Ordinary Can Grant the Mandatum or Refuse/Withdraw It!
And what has happened to the mandatum, the provision of c. 812 that requires college or university faculty to obtain from their local ordinary permission to teach theology, which may be granted or withdrawn. If Johnson is teaching at a Catholic college or university and has met the canonical requirement of requesting a mandatum, in view of her obstinance and disobedience, her apostasy and heterodoxy, shouldn’t her bishop withdraw the mandatum to teach theology at any Catholic college or university, or shouldn’t any bishop refuse to allow her to promulgate her heresies in his diocese, whether at a provincial house or not?
Anyone would have seen the writing on the wall if he or she observed that the local feminist theology mill, St Bernards School of Ministry and Theology, actually teaches Johnsons’ and her feminist colleague’s tripe, and even assigns Johnson’s controversial book as required reading in St Bernard’s Introduction to Theological Studies course! Right under Hubbard’s nose, literally!
One of the most insidious and specious reversals is that of the western notion of womanhood, especially in the United States, but with its parallels in the annihilation of any gender – specific identities in the Stalinist and Maoist communist states like pre – glasnost Russia and China. The United States, however, along with other emphatically “secular” or outright atheist states heads the list in perversion and hypocrisy, with some of the worst examples coming out of the Roman Catholic women religious communities, a.k.a. the nuns’ communities.
Many of our American women have eschewed traditional roles of both males and females and have blurred any distinction between the two. Gone is the image of the nurturing, gentle, self – sacrificing maternal female and in with the emaciated kick – boxing viragos. Gone is the cherished vocation of motherhood and in with the pro – choice infanticidal maniacs who have turned their procreative gifts and their anatomy of conception and gestation into cesspools of promiscuity and fonts of murder. The harlot who amorally and carelessly makes herself accessible to any and all ready males has the easy escape route of a local abortion clinic. And then the hypocrites look aghast at the monsters like Kermit Gosnell, a monster that feminists have created and legislation has promoted. Now, when the naked, shocking, shameful reality hits the abortionists and pro – choicers, they can rightly hide their depraved faces. Indeed, the “culture of death” is headed by women, not death squads.
Ignoring and ignorant of the natural prerogatives associated with gender, women strive to be “recognized” as equal to men, and society has reduced standards so that the fiction becomes at least artificially true. Women want equality and while chirping “Away with the dualism and dualities!” they establish their own agendas and new dualities, and call it feminism. Men can no longer respond to nature and admire a woman, even respectfully, without risking job loss or a lawsuit. No feminist reading of the Bible can change the fact that woman was created from man, that first man was created after all of creation and woman after that.
The midrashic account:
Prophecy Departed from Deborah Because of Her Pride.
The Talmud declares that when a person becomes haughty, if he was a sage, his wisdom departs from him; and if a prophet, his ability to prophesy departs from him. The Rabbis learn of this loss of prophecy from Deborah, who boasted (Jud. 5:7): “Deliverance ceased, ceased in Israel, till you arose, O Deborah, arose, O mother, in Israel!” (In this verse Deborah portrays the helplessness of Israel that continued until she arose and delivered Israel.) In the midrashic reading, prophecy departed from her as punishment for her arrogance, leading her to plead (v. 12): “Awake, awake, O Deborah! Awake, awake, [Deborah,] strike up the [prophetic] chant!” In these words Deborah requests that the prophetic spirit return to her (BT Pesahim 66b). According to another tradition her haughtiness expresses itself by the fact that she sent someone to call for Barak (Jud. 10:4) and did not go herself. The Gemara comments that haughtiness is not becoming for women. Deborah and Huldah are guilty of the sin of pride and consequently both of them received ugly names: Ziburta (bee) and Karkushta (rat) (BT Megillah 14b). These midrashim might possibly evince a certain degree of Rabbinic displeasure with the character of Deborah as reflected in the Biblical narrative, and with the upsetting of the accepted balance of power between the sexes.
“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” (Gen. 2:23).
Women have castrated and transgendered even God and made what was once a “He” into a “She.” Today’s woman in her arrogance knows no limits, has no boundaries, even the Divine is no longer ineffable, immutable, untouchable. Even God is not safe from these blasphemous, murderous, voracious, greedy feminists.
Women religious, otherwise known by the now obsolete even archaic – – though still colored with something of nostalgia – – term as “nuns,” as women have navigated the same basic course as so many other women in today’s United States. The majority have left their traditional roles as caregivers, educators of children, missionaries, and models of piety and have donned the vestments of the harlot, have entered the world, have turned their backs on their once revered and cherished roles today to become managers, directors, administrators, and involve themselves with the vague and ambiguous social justice agendas, whatever they may be. What makes them nuns anymore is up for debate. We cannot say that they are distinguished by the traditional habit, few if any wear the habit. We cannot say that they live in pious communities of women because now many nuns have their own apartments or live outside of “the community” with “companions.” Gone are the “convents” and in are the self – contained “houses” that serve the few residents’ needs in terms of meals, medical care, religious services, and myriad other amenities. They even have car pools. Poverty or simplicity, chastity, obedience? Those were the vows once professed but today we can pretty much delete the poverty or simplicity. Some may still be practicing chaste celibacy but who knows? Obedience went out the door decades ago.
So what are we left with? Single women perhaps living in companionship with another woman or in community with a number of women. That’s all we have for certain. What we really have is…
NUNS GONE WILD
“Women religious need to stand with the church, and if they don’t feel that they can in good conscience do that anymore then I think it would take more integrity to simply step back and say, you know, maybe we’re not called to be Catholic women religious anymore. Maybe we want to be something else.” (Colleen Carroll Campbell, columnist, author.)
Several reasonable presumptions obtain when determining whether one is Roman Catholic or roamin’ catholic. The presumptions are that one lives in obedience to (1) the message of the Sacra Scriptura as interpreted by the Roman Catholic Church, (2) the holy Roman Catholic Tradition and its traditions, (3) the inspired Magisterium of the Roman Catholic church. Furthermore, it is reasonably expected that one accepts the authority of the Roman Catholic hierarch and its leadership and teachings “in the Holy Spirit.” Acceptance of the dogmas and the theologies of the church are also essential.
The Roman Catholic Church in the United States is a perversion of Roman Catholicism overall and is miserably diluted by the pernicious plague of materialism, relativism, modernism, egoism, a capitalism that has derailed. Individualism and egoism have supplanted any notion of morality, and ethics of any flavor is a farce. Rights are confused with privilege, law with norm. The faithful are lost pilgrims and their leaders are myopic shepherds.
The clergy are frightened castrati, the bishops have been neutered by the nuns-gone-wild.
Those of us old enough to have grown up in a pre-Vatican II culture look back with nostalgia while dealing with an ecclesial institution that cannot make up its mind whether it is traditional, conservative, or liberal. Complaining of hemorrhaging faithful to “Christian” sects or simply avoiding the Church, the bishops merge, consolidate and close parishes and don’t seem to understand that the resulting bereavement of the assemblies-made-homeless requires counseling, therapy, not more pussyfooting around unnecessary controversy.
The merged and consolidated parishes are serviced by burnt-out clergy, who in their demented states preach nonsense. In lieu of the dwindling clergy, pseudo-clergy, the deaconate has been resurrected, but they, too, are poorly formed, arrogant, ignorant, and members, they think, of an exclusive club, the so-called permanent diaconate resurrected by Vatican II. Their directors perpetuate this concept and the territorialism runs rampant.
The Catholic schools have closed, the women religious have gone back to college to earn advanced degrees, and now have novel notions of what it means to be a “religious.” The nuns have instituted a new “church” for themselves, have insidiously invented a new magisterium, have rewritten theology along radical feminist lines and have obstinately challenged the authority of Rome and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, with the “nuns” appealing as wolves-in-sheepskins to the public in the guise of ‘misunderstood women abused at the hands of ‘those men in Rome.'”
John Calvin: This decree also commends modesty in general, and in it God anticipates the danger, lest women should harden themselves into forgetfulness of modesty, or men should degenerate into effeminacy unworthy of their nature. Garments are not in themselves of so much importance; but as it is disgraceful for men to become effeminate, and also for women to affect manliness in their dress and gestures, propriety and modesty are prescribed, not only for decency’s sake, but lest one kind of liberty should at length lead to something worse. The words of the heathen poet (Juvenal) are very true: “What shame can she, who wears a helmet, show, Her sex deserting?”
(John Calvin, exposition of the Seventh Commandment; John Calvin, Commentaries on the Four Last Books of Moses Arranged in the Form of a Harmony, tr. Charles Bingham, 22 vols., (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, repr. 1996), 3:110).
They have left the traditional communities to establish maverick communities like Loretto and others where they can advocate pro-choice agendas, feminist programs, ordination of women, marriage of gays and lesbians. Yet they refuse to cut the umbilical cord between them and Mother Church. Why is that? Is there an underlying, still unborn diabolical agenda playing out?
Let’s be clear: If one rejects obedience to the ecclesial hierarchy despite one’s vows, one is excommunicated until conversion, repentance, penance, reconciliation. Period. If one advocates sacramental marriage for same-sex couples, one is not Catholic. If one advocates sacramental ordination of women to the priesthood, one is not Catholic. If one advocates any pro-choice agenda, one is not Catholic.
Moreover, if the bishops, the men who are responsible for the teaching and pastoral ministry of the Church, are indifferent, cowardly, tired, burnt out, physically or mentally moribund, they must be replaced. If any bishop has delegated essential pastoral and magisterial authority to lay underlings, and he is incapable of handling the rudder, he must go! Any bishop who tolerates public sin and communicates the sacraments to such public sinner without first demanding conversion, repentance, penance, and reconciliation is a scandal monger and is detrimental to the Church; he must go! We have too many of such bishops in the United States and that has cost the Church dearly.
But the most insidious, pernicious plague to attack the Roman Catholic Church in the United States continues to be the women religious who, at the expense of the Church and their communities, have succumbed to the worst the world has to offer: they have become feminists who live in communities. They are hypocrites, sporting the nostalgic image of the beneficent, pious, maternal nun of yesteryear but wearing the fashion, adornments, rouge, and arrogance of the harlot.
Even more insidious is that they have insinuated themselves into key positions in our educational institutions where they promulgate anti-Church propaganda and agendas to the unwary, trusting, paying student. They are in key positions to mould minds and to brainwash in the guise of trustworthy teachers. In such positions they can insensately undermine traditional teachings while slipping in–in the form of suggestions, proposals, alternative ideas, and worse still, by incorporating apostate nuns’ writings into the curriculum as required textbooks or required reading.
Much of this sabotage is happening right under the nose of the local bishop, who remains silent and by his silence, acquiesces. The American church is led by castrati, and the eunuchs react impotently to the attacks of the wild-women of the former communities of religious women.
For years I have been gently commenting on the pernicious pathology that has insidiously infected the leadership of the female religious communities and now has advanced to contaminate our schools of theology and ministry, and our pastoral centers (a.k.a. diocesan offices), even our seminary colleges have been infiltrated and turned into hotbeds of brainwashing and breeding grounds and radical feminist agenda propaganda mills. In some liberal dioceses they have been made parish life directors, the equivalent of a pastor, and have been authorized to preach their interpretation of Holy Scripture into which they inject their politics of error. Amid all of this the poorly cathechized ogle them admiringly, the women in the assembly either despise them or envy them—there seems to be no middle ground. And the circulum vitiousum continues.
Indeed, my personal and professional experience with openly dissenting female religious and their supporters both male and female in a Roman Catholic—Or was it interfaith? Or just feminist? Who knows!?!—school of theology and ministry, where they perpetrated their apostasy right under the nose of the diocesan clergy and the bishop himself. If the problem is in reality as widespread and as infiltrating as it appears to be, we are facing a form of intra-ecclesial carcinoma in which a small number of radical feminist female religious in key positions are promoting their anti-Catholic agendas in the colleges and schools of ministry, disseminating their evil through the gullible, scrupulous, unsuspecting students and into their ministries; in other words, the radical feminist anti-Church is making scurrilous incursions into the grassroots communities through the minds of ministers in formation and through the Church’s social justice ministries!
“Say to the righteous that it will go well with them, For they will eat the fruit of their actions. Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him, For what he deserves will be done to him. O My people! Their oppressors are children, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray And confuse the direction of your paths. (Isaiah 3:10-12)
These unscrupulous shrews-in-sheepskins are unfairly and treacherously taking advantage of the intellectually or socially vulnerable!
Add to this toxic heretical brew the castrati clerics and the eunuch episcopal curia who support these rabid female religious in their demonic subterfuges, and a handful of spiritually labile, neurotically scrupulous laypersons, and throw into the soup the hyper-liberal bishops who either indifferently or myopically allow the diocesan resources, organs, programs, services, etc. to fall under the control of these calculating shrewd nuns-gone-wild and you have what can be fairly and accurately called a totalitarian system.
The hypocrisy is nauseating, especially when one picks up some of the literature put out by the lead organizations. While deploring “duality” and “dualism,” “”genderism,” (these women seem to be titillated by the monosyllable “sex” and its variants. It’s not “sex” (a biological attribute) but “gender” (the fact of one’s sexual identity), hence “genderism,”) etc. they openly preach it and pen it–but it’s different because they say it is.
If ordained—which is and will continue to be out of the question, despite some gender – ambiguous ambivalent male pundits’ expositions, notably of the Jesuit persuasion (radical Masons in clerical collars?) for some bizarre reason—, these female radicals would likely claim that they speak with the authority of the Church; if their past and present behavior is any indicator of the possibilities, such a development would be catastrophic.
Luckily, at the present time these female religious or “nuns” are actually laypersons with no more than any non-ordained man or woman on the street, and they speak with no more authority than anyone else. True, they have finagled their way into the colleges and universities, thanks to the education they received from their communities when they abandoned the parochial schools and slipped into the secular world in which they now live quite comfortably, but far from obediently or spiritually connected.
And don’t think that they spend their time in prayer, meditation, and contemplation. Or that they’re out there emptying the bedpans of the sick and the dying, or in the missions. Some are, of course, but the mainstream American female religious feels more comfortable in a power position as a college instructor or an executive. None of that simplicity, poverty, or obedience stuff for them. Hell NO! There’s power and money to be had.
Of course, they can do all this in the United States because they are shielded by bleeding heart liberals, by the scandal-mongers, by the pro-choice mob, by the supporters of the culture of death, by their feminist man-hating supporters, and by other lay women who want to emulate “sister” (these are the women who are wannabe “nuns” and join some of the communities as “associates.” See “A Nun’s Life” ; “On this day: Lay Associates“. ) Of course, most of the women joining the “associates” carry some real baggage, are past middle age. One wonders out loud why they don’t find satisfaction in their marriages or in their children. But then they, too, want it all.)
As I suggested above, this problem seems unique to the United States, to the American Catholic Church. Here is part of the story and some of the facts that led up to the present situation created by American female religious.
So they don’t like what Rome says or does and they resent it when Rome sends its visitors to audit the communities. Their best excuse—and it’s getting really old by now—is the oldest one in the book: They say “Rome misunderstood.” But that excuse is working only on the feeble minds that can’t see farther than their agenda; it’s not working on Rome, not on thinking Catholics, not on anyone.
But the still keep haranguing, they still fill books with their bizarre pseudo – theologies, they continue to prooftext, they continue to invite the feebleminded to believe in a transgendered God, one who has gone from a Scriptural and traditional (granted the gender is largely attributed to culture and grammar) He to a post-Catholic She (which is a feminist invention that is neither cultural, traditional, nor grammatical). They promulgate their agenda and their erroneous teaching in the CINO (Catholic-in-name-only) colleges and universities both in their lectures and in the books they foist upon the unwary. While perpetrating this perverse campaign of brainwashing and soul-robbing, they continue to mislead by deploring the dualities in the 2000-year old Church and demand that what they feel is “antiquated” (= not working for them) be changed. Out of the one side of their made-up faces they accuse the Church of duality but out of the other side they preach duality, duplicity, division.
Cases in Point:
USCCB doctrine committee confirmed its position on the theological work and Sr. Elizabeth Johnson’s departure from accepted doctrine, and her apostasy in the book, “Quest for the Living God.”
Sr. Elizabeth Johnson? Teacher at the Jesuit-runFordhamUniversity? She wrote some things about the Holy Trinity that seemed to the US Bishops not to be exactly in line with Catholic doctrine and was called on it. She objected. The US Bishops respond.
US bishops reaffirm critique of controversial feminist pseudo-theologian’s work
The U.S. bishops have confirmed their criticism of a controversial theology book, after the author [Sr. Elizabeth Johnson] insisted they had “misunderstood” and “misrepresented” it.In an October 11, 2011 statement made public yesterday, doctrinal authorities at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said their committee “finds itself confirmed in its judgments” about Sister Elizabeth Johnson’s “Quest for the Living God,” which it previously criticized in March 2011. [Source: Washington D.C., Oct 29, 2011 / 06:19 pm (CNA)]
After reviewing the Fordham University professor’s defense of her work, the Committee on Doctrine said it “remains convinced that the book … does not sufficiently ground itself in the Catholic theological tradition as its starting point,” and “does not adequately express the faith of the Church.”
In her response to the bishops’ first critique, Sr. Johnson sought to remind them that theology “does not simply reiterate received doctrinal formulas but probes and interprets them in order to deepen understanding.”
The committee agreed with Sr. Johnson’s insight about theology, but insisted she had not accomplished this task appropriately.
“It is true that the task of theological reflection is never accomplished by the mere repetition of formulas,” they noted, saying they did not object to Sr. Johnson’s attempt “to express the faith of the Church in terms that have not previously been used and approved.”
Rather, they objected to “Quest for the Living God” because “the ‘different’ language used in the book does not in fact convey the faith of the Church.” [my emphasis]
“The real issue is whether or not new attempts at theological understanding are faithful to the deposit of faith as contained in the Scriptures and the Church’s doctrinal tradition,” they said. “All theology is ultimately subject to the norm of truth provided by the faith of the Church.”
Sr. Johnson’s treatment of the Trinity raised particular concerns for the committee.
They noted that her way of speaking about the three divine persons “leaves the door open to modalism,” an ancient heresy which rejected any real distinction between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and taught that the three persons were simply expressions of one person.
“The book’s misunderstanding of the incomprehensibility of God has effectively ruled out even divinely revealed analogies for the relationship among the persons of the Trinity,” they noted. “The result is that the book can only speak in vague terms about the Trinity.”
While refraining from any judgment of Sr. Johnson’s motives, the committee said her book had become a “particular pastoral concern” as a work intended for a popular, non-scholarly audience. [Read: It confuses people and leads them into error about a foundational article of the Faith, without which we are not really Christians.]
“Furthermore,” they stated, “whether or not the book was originally designed specifically to be a textbook, the book is in fact being used as a textbook for the study of the doctrine of God.”
Bishops, they said, have a responsibility “to judge works of theology … in terms of how adequately they express the faith of the Church.”
When and How did the Nuns Start Going Rabid?
“They had something to gain from changes,” McDannell says, “whereas men had something to lose — to the laity and to the nuns, who are officially laity.” But correctly articulated they cannot mean “men” in a general sense but what they mean here is men who, through years of discernment and formation are called to a vocation in the priesthood, called to sacramental orders. McDannel’s use of the word “men” is extremely revealing and betrays a certain animosity towards the male gender. This feminist self-loathing is not only symptomatic of deeper disorder but is the fuel of this perverse movement.
For American nuns, Vatican II brought freedoms and controversies that are playing out today. (Maureen Fiedler joined the Sisters of Mercy in September 1962. She was 19 years old and moved into a convent where she had limited contact with the outside world. A month later, Vatican II began.
Many of these women religious committed themselves fervently to social justice ministries and work for and with the poor. Fiedler, who now hosts the public radio program Interfaith Voices, fasted for 37 days in support of the Equal Rights Amendment. Encouraged, emboldened and made greedy by the newfound freedoms, she says, they pushed for more changes. To hell with simplicity, obedience, humility and the lot! They wanted more and, like the immature personalities that they were, they wanted it now.
The impatience and unrealistic character disorders brought them to the point of fantasy: “We thought, ‘Well, women priests can’t be far behind. A married priesthood can’t be far behind,'” Fiedler says. “What we didn’t count on, I don’t think, was that many forces and people within the Vatican had set their minds to rolling back the changes that Vatican II brought about.” Those forces and people, dear Ms Fiedler, were not only in the Vatican, they were all around you but you, blinded by your self-centeredness, your ego, and your mania, like so many of your feminazi nuns, were blind to the reality. Most forces and people around you were apalled by your behavior which inspired not empathy, but distrust. And rightly so!
When John Paul II became pope in 1978, according to McDannell, the new pope “felt Vatican II was important, it was legitimate, but it had been interpreted incorrectly.” And so most scholars of Vatican II agree, it was interpreted, implemented and taught imperfectly.
The first open conflict between the American feminist nuns and John Paul II erupted in 1979 during his first visit to the United States. After one papal address, Sister Theresa Kane, a leader among the nuns, stood up to address the pope, not with humility and respect, not with grace and dignity, but like a brazen virago: “The church in its struggle to be faithful to its call for reverence and dignity to all people must respond by providing the possibility of women as persons being included in all ministries of our church,” Kane said. What’s this “must” rubbish? A bunch of ambitious feminists are now making the decision that the Church “must” respond? Where were they hiding for the past 1500 or so years?
Clement of Alexandria: We do not say that woman’s nature is the same as man’s, as she is woman. For undoubtedly it stands to reason that some difference should exist between each of them, in virtue of which one is male and the other female. Pregnancy and parturition, accordingly, we say belong to woman, as she is woman, and not as she is a human being. But if there were no difference between man and woman, both would do and suffer the same things. As then there is sameness, as far as respects the soul, she will attain to the same virtue; but as there is difference as respects the peculiar construction of the body, she is destined for child-bearing and housekeeping…. For we do not train our women like Amazons to manliness in war (although) I hear that the Sarmatian women practice war no less than the men; and the women of the Sacae besides, who shoot backwards, feigning fight as well as the men.
(Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata, book 4, chapter 8).
About 40 nuns were standing, wearing blue armbands as a symbol of their support for the ordination of women. Maureen Fiedler was there. “You know, I was looking at him that day,” she says, laughing. “And it didn’t look like he had a smile on his face. He seemed like he was thinking, ‘Oh my, nobody vetted this speech, did they?'” No no one vetted the speech because no one expected such idiotic behavior by women who took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience! No one expected presumably educated adults to act like a bunch of poorly socialized adolescents. Most probably hoped for a modicum of decorum, dignity, respect, reverence maybe for the acknowledges successor to Peter and head of the Vatican state!
A Conservative Order
Pope John Paul II favored a more traditional church, where authority resided in Rome, where altar boys were boys, and women religious centered their lives in community prayer. “A good number of nuns have serious questions about the positions that the bishops put forward, and so they’re not anxious to jump in the fray and become, you know, warriors on the bedroom issues, if you will,” Fiedler says. But they did and they continue to do so and Fiedler represents many of those apostatic positions.
Those are fighting words — and in early 2009, the Vatican cracked down. It intended to reorganize the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents the vast majority of American nuns.
It said the group has “serious doctrinal problems” and promotes “radical feminist themes.” “I know the road I’m on is the road of the Gospel, so that’s where my energies are. Helen Prejean, author of “Dead Man Walking”
“I think it was important that this doctrinal assessment be done,” says Campbell. “It was important to many lay Catholics as well, because there’s been so much confusion about what the church teaches, because so many women religious have either not proclaimed that teaching, or have openly dissented from it.” An what’s to lose from an official “audit”? What reasonable basis can be had why an organization claiming affiliation with the Vatican and enjoying all the benefits associated with that association, including recognition, should not be audited by its oversight insitution? Perhaps because they knew their jig was up and about to be exposed?
In April 2012, the Vatican accused the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the umbrella group that represents the majority of American nuns, of “doctrinal confusion.” As LCWR leaders meet this week (Aug. 7-11) to plot their response to the Vatican, many of the sisters say they are just following the spirit of Vatican II.
But some critics say many Catholic sisters have been using the Second Vatican Council to justify positions and activities that are in conflict with official church teachings. Anathema sit!
From 1962 to 1965, church leaders at the Second Vatican Council produced 16 documents on a host of topics, from introducing local languages into the Mass, to expanding lay involvement and promoting more interfaith dialogue. One of the documents focused on religious life, encouraging Catholic sisters to re-examine their mission, their rules, even their style of dress.
LCWR represents about 80 percent of the country’s 57,000 Catholic sisters. The group has increasingly taken advocacy positions, including some that anger the church’s male hierarchy. “These are the sisters that publicly stated to John Paul II that women should be ordained, that women should be allowed to work in all the ministries of the church. This is the same organization that signed the New York Times letter which said that there is a legitimate diverse opinion on the question of abortion,” said University of Utah professor Colleen McDannell, author of “The Spirit of Vatican II.”
In 2008, Vatican officials began an investigation into the lives and doctrine of U.S. sisters. This past April, the Vatican released a report accusing the LCWR of having “serious doctrinal problems.” The assessment specifically criticized the group for being “largely silent” on right-to-life issues. And it mandated that the group come under the authority of three U.S. bishops.
“The reality is that we’re stuck with a situation and a mandate that we are not happy about,” said Hughes. “We answered all the questions that were given to us in the doctrinal assessment honestly, carefully, prudently, and when we didn’t hear back, I guess we thought that we were believed.”
“We’re talking about defending the sanctity of every human life, from the cradle to the grave, defending the sanctity of marriage as the church sees marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and just generally promoting church teaching, and upholding that teaching and witnessing with joy to that, and that’s not what many lay Catholics have seen,” said Campbell.
Campbell, meanwhile, said the answer is fairly clear. “Women religious need to stand with the church, and if they don’t feel that they can in good conscience do that anymore then I think it would take more integrity to simply step back and say, you know, maybe we’re not called to be Catholic women religious anymore. Maybe we want to be something else.”
Read More on this Subject
Father John Zuhlsdorf provides a rogues’ gallery of some of the worst offenders in this diabolical drama. Those of you who wonder why the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the American Bishops initiated a reform of the leadership of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), should take a little trip down memory lane. (Click the link) Nuns Gone Wild: A Trip Down Memory Lane
Battle for the Core of the World also does a great job on the subject at: US Nuns and the Vatican
The Huffington Post provides a more slanted, alternative perspective on this scandal at US Nuns Clash with the Vatican
An interesting analysis of the subject of E. Johnson and the Magisterium can be found in Richard R. Galliardez, When the Magsiterium Intervenes: The Magisterium and Theologians in Today’s Church (Liturgical Press (2012), ISBN-13: 9780814680544).